Maple back and sides guitar

dankuster16
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Maple back and sides guitar

Post by dankuster16 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:38 pm

I am a fan of the wonderful flamed maple back and sides guitar. I myself own a Hanika AF model, which is fine with a warm and silky sound.
I would like to ask some guitarists (and luthiers) who play a maple guitar to share their experiences and impressions, perhaps in comparison with guitars that are built with darker woods such as indian rosewood etc.

Thank you!
Greetings from Switzerland

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Michael.N.
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Re: Maple back and sides guitar

Post by Michael.N. » Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:53 pm

Here, as good an answer as any:

http://www.leonardo-guitar-research.com/

Read the entire research. I came to a similar conclusion a few years ago. There are many variables of course but the main factor (by far) has to be the soundboard. The rest is picking at very tiny details, probably differences rather than 'better' or 'worse'. I guess that's why you hear guitars made of woods that are as diverse as cypress and Brazilian rosewood. On the density/hardness scale cypress and rosewood are at polar opposites. You have to have them in your hands to appreciate just how different they are. I'm sure we can all find examples of both that sound extremely good, even exceptional.
So in conclusion I say enjoy your flamed Maple guitar. It's one of the great timbers of the world and has a mighty fine historical use in musical instrument making. It's very attractive, stable and of course can be varnished a much darker colour.
Historicalguitars.

dilettante1000
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Re: Maple back and sides guitar

Post by dilettante1000 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:07 pm

I have recently commented a fair bit on my maple guitar, for example: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=108752&p=1162159#p1162159

Where I directly compare the two sounds.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Maple back and sides guitar

Post by Michael.N. » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:22 pm

Although those differences can hardly be pinned down to the maple back/sides. It's highly unlikely that the two soundboards are going to be identical, probably not even close if we take into account density and thicknessing. Then there are all the other variables, which probably amount to quite a number.
Historicalguitars.

dilettante1000
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Re: Maple back and sides guitar

Post by dilettante1000 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:14 pm

You are absolutely correct. The two guitars have so many distinctive features relative to one another that pinning down the finished sound profile would be impossible - indeed, I am reasonably happy that the character is a consequence of all the decisions and components in various measures.

I think this must be true of any well-made guitar, and is an important function of the luthier's art and the processes which go into making an instrument - the detail feeds into and informs the big picture, but in the end, the goal is the big picture, and the success or otherwise of the luthier a reflection of their ability to meet the brief or not. An experienced luthier will know some of the things which add to a desired end-product, a 'master' will have more precise control, I suppose, but in the end, the guitar will come out as itself.

For me, the many distinctive features of both my 'better' guitars add to the pleasure in playing both of them. I'm still learning about them, and my repertoire, and matters of technique, through ongoing experimentation.

dankuster16
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Re: Maple back and sides guitar

Post by dankuster16 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:54 pm

Michael.N. wrote:Here, as good an answer as any:

http://www.leonardo-guitar-research.com/

Read the entire research. I came to a similar conclusion a few years ago. There are many variables of course but the main factor (by far) has to be the soundboard. The rest is picking at very tiny details, probably differences rather than 'better' or 'worse'. I guess that's why you hear guitars made of woods that are as diverse as cypress and Brazilian rosewood. On the density/hardness scale cypress and rosewood are at polar opposites. You have to have them in your hands to appreciate just how different they are. I'm sure we can all find examples of both that sound extremely good, even exceptional.
So in conclusion I say enjoy your flamed Maple guitar. It's one of the great timbers of the world and has a mighty fine historical use in musical instrument making. It's very attractive, stable and of course can be varnished a much darker colour.

Thank you for your very fine and detailed answer. Appreciate it a lot!

dankuster16
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:15 pm
Location: Swiss jura mountains

Re: Maple back and sides guitar

Post by dankuster16 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:01 pm

dilettante1000 wrote:I have recently commented a fair bit on my maple guitar, for example: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=108752&p=1162159#p1162159

Where I directly compare the two sounds.
Thank you also very much for your comments!

This topic was obviously already discussed back in 2011, see here: viewtopic.php?t=60715

Jabberwocky
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Re: Maple back and sides guitar

Post by Jabberwocky » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:05 pm

Love maple, particularly birdseye maple. With the new CITES regulation on all Dalbergias, maple should be considered a very nice alternative. But I would say that considering that my archtop guitars are almost all made of beautiful maple.

I will be taking delivery of a maple Torres FE17 replica soon!

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jayjayrose
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Re: Maple back and sides guitar

Post by jayjayrose » Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:49 am

I have a flamed maple guitar built by Manuel de la Chica. It weighs a mere 1345g, despite a 668mm string length and Rodgers tuners! I think that the lightness gives a lot of vibration through the back of the guitar and a very quick response overall. My Ramirez 1a, in contrast, weighs 1720g.
"…that all-pervading talisman of Spanish pleasure, the guitar." -Washington Irving

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Gordon Guttmann
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Re: Maple back and sides guitar

Post by Gordon Guttmann » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:30 am

I can't give a math equation or a reasonable explanation but, I have 10 guitars and 90 percent of the time I play my two flamed maple guitars. Why? They feel right to me.

Altophile
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Re: Maple back and sides guitar

Post by Altophile » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:07 pm

I've decided that my next classical will have flamed maple back and sides and a spruce top. Just search Youtube for performances on guitars with maple sides and back and any doubt about how good they can sound will be gone for good! I love the tone of maple/spruce.

~Sean

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jayjayrose
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Re: Maple back and sides guitar

Post by jayjayrose » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:57 pm

And if you want to see one to die for, a 1936 Fleta, go to GSI and do a search. Can't post the link here, but it's up there. Gorgeous looking and sounding old instrument played by Marc Teicholz.
"…that all-pervading talisman of Spanish pleasure, the guitar." -Washington Irving

RichardUno
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Re: Maple back and sides guitar

Post by RichardUno » Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:53 pm

Here's the 1936 Fleta:

Image

dankuster16
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:15 pm
Location: Swiss jura mountains

Re: Maple back and sides guitar

Post by dankuster16 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:36 am

Oh, that is a real beauty! Would love to see, hear and play this wonderful instrument. Thanks for all the thoughts etc. on this topic!

Greetings from Switzerland
Dan

dankuster16
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:15 pm
Location: Swiss jura mountains

Re: Maple back and sides guitar

Post by dankuster16 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:49 am

jayjayrose wrote:And if you want to see one to die for, a 1936 Fleta, go to GSI and do a search. Can't post the link here, but it's up there. Gorgeous looking and sounding old instrument played by Marc Teicholz.
Thank you for this. This Fleta does not only look beautiful, it sounds also warm and powerful. Played well and with passion by Marc Teichholz. A true inspiration!

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